THE song hums in quietly on the faintest guitar shimmer. One deep keyboard chord lends heft and depth. And then vocalist Ananda appears, a ghostly image, made more eerie yet by mime make-up: she’s some shade here to sing, bringing forth a tale. Her voice is beguiling, breathy.
And so we’re into the ethereal world of Winter Gardens, the Sussex four-piece of Ananda Howard, Jamie Windless, Matt Squires and Alex Robinson, who are teasing the late-September release of their second record, the Tapestry EP, with this video for the title track: you can watch it below.
Winter Gardens formed in Brighton two years ago and already have one single under their belts, the super-limited bone-coloured vinyl “Coral Bells”, which had a cover of the Cocteaus’ “Pearly Dewdrops-Drops” on the flip; now there’s a band with confidence, who know exactly their path.
And indeed they do take the early, proto-shoegaze sounds of 4AD and other classic 80s’ post-punk cuts, which they meld into a sound they call “dream-punk”.
Listen as “Tapestry” broadens out into a wider, arpeggiating ‘gaze bliss in the middle eight; then as the songs lifts off, how those guitars scald oh so sweetly, just like Mr Guthrie used to do; a sweet aural sting.
They’ve already secured and played in support with bands such as cult 4AD outfit Modern English, Miki Berenyi’s Piroshka and the lovely Penelope Isles.
The band said of the EP from which this is taken: “[It] epitomises our shared love for the beauty in the world, both obvious and hidden. ‘Life’s Rich Tapestry’ is how we perceive nature, art, and world affairs.”
If you’re a proper wax addict, have a peek at that limited 180gsm vinyl pressing on the link below. It’s a pretty glorious artefact of white-rimmed purple: because the full four-track 12″ is available to pre-order right now at Austerity Records.
If you’re into that classic era 4AD sound; or Daughter, even Lanterns on the Lake; or the more dramatic, darker end of the shoegazing spectrum, then the velvet soundscapes coming off the Sussex coast right now are definitely something you should avail yourself of.